VELO3D’s Metal 3D Printers Bought by Two Aerospace Customers


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Metal 3D printing leader VELO3D, which became the sixth AM company to announce that it was going public this year, just revealed that it will be delivering one of its high-quality metal systems to precision CNC machine shop Wagner Machine Company, which has been an early adopter of many other manufacturing processes in its 40 years of business, including abrasive waterjet, 5-axix milling, wire EDM, robotic automation, and now metal 3D printing. The second-generation company is considered something of a one-stop-shop for advanced, precision manufacturing, and by adding VELO3D’s Sapphire system, which can now print parts out of foundry-grade, high-performance aluminum F357 alloy, Wagner will grow even more capable and knowledgeable.

“VELO3D ’s real-time monitoring of the 3D printing process from start to finish with their integrated Assure quality assurance software is exactly what metal AM needs to be ready for prime time. “They offer the most advanced capabilities available in metal AM, with process control, traceability, and build monitoring that is second to none,” explained Kurt Wagner, the CEO of Wagner Machine Company. “This expands our ability to serve more aerospace and defense customers who need complex, high-value, mission-critical parts.”

Aluminum F357 has been certified for mission-critical applications, and VELO3D has 3D printed parts for the aerospace industry before. The company’s capability to repeatably print accurate, optimized parts out of this alloy allows engineers and designers from demanding industries, such as aerospace, to enjoy better-performing parts and achieve previously unheard of part consolidation requirements. This is good news for Wagner, which has something of a reputation for building parts that are said to be impossible.

“When everyone else says it can’t be done, people come to us. We recently had a customer ask us to make a brazed assembly that was impossible due to space constraints and other requirements. We suggested 3D printing, which was their original plan, but other 3D printing companies they consulted said the part would be impossible to print due to thin walls and pressure requirements,” Wagner said. “VELO3D was able to print the assembly as a single piece on a Sapphire® and it met all the customer’s performance requirements.”

“We thrive on working with companies who are constantly redefining what is possible. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Wagner Machine because they have the kind of innovative mindset that’s open to exploring everything that AM makes possible, allowing for a new wave of innovation and supply chain flexibility,” said VELO3D’s Founder and CEO Benny Buller.

VELO3D’s Sapphire system 3D prints titanium parts for Boom Supersonic’s XB-1. Image courtesy of Boom Supersonic

Additionally, ADDMAN Engineering, a premier North American provider of advanced 3D printing solutions for the energy and aerospace sectors, will be the first to own operate VELO3D’s additive solutions in the Indianapolis area, and has also reserved two of its large-format Sapphire XC metal printers as well. The company’s Indianapolis facility is focused on production, though its HQ and Innovation Center in Bonita Springs offers many FDM and SLA 3D printers for large-format composite and polymer material options.

“We have a vision and are looking toward the future not just for our company, but for the entire aerospace industry, where demand for intricate, high-value parts is growing fast. While the Sapphire system brought net-new capabilities to ADDMAN, we’re excited about the Sapphire XC’s because they open up a new category of parts, while making impressive increases to capacity and efficiency,” said ADDMAN’s CTO and Founder Mark Saberton.

ADDMAN, a vertically integrated company backed by American Industrial Partners (AIP), offers design and large-capacity metal 3D printing, in addition to post-processing and quality capabilities, for the manufacturing, defense, energy, and aerospace industries. It meets DoD, FAA, and NASA quality requirements for metal 3D printing in aviation, defense, and space organizations, and is making plans for a prestigious NADCAP accreditation as well.

Each of VELO3D’s Sapphire XC printers offers up to four times the productivity of the Sapphire system already being operated by ADDMAN, which will definitely help the company keep up with the always-growing demand for the kinds of high-performance, complex parts needed in the commercial space industry. VELO3D’s AI-powered full-stack solution, which includes both its integrated Flow design software and Assure Quality Assurance and Control System, will also be useful to customers like ADDMAN, as they make it easier to achieve complex geometries, shorter print times, and simpler parts.

Saberton continued, “The full-stack laser powder bed fusion 3D printing solution from VELO3D gives our customers the freedom they need to design the next generation of spacecraft and turbomachinery without compromising their designs for the sake of manufacturability. The VELO3D process saves time and avoids waste by removing unnecessary steps, and reduces time to test or go to market, while also ensuring production-ready quality in every build.”

(Source/Images: VELO3D)

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